Let’s face it; the majority of us spend too much time on our phones.
Maybe you’re a social media junkie, perhaps you watch lots of random videos or read countless articles, maybe you love to play games or just browse websites… maybe all of the above and more. But how often do you come away feeling that was a good use of your time?
Whatever you use your phone for, most people pick up their phone on auto-pilot, without making a conscious decision to do so. This is a great time-waster, and can be harmful to our overall well-being, preventing us from doing things we really enjoy or want to achieve in life.
So, how can you reduce this?
Take a look at the stats on your phone
Go look at the usage stats on your phone. If you’re shocked by what you find, think of what you could be achieving in those hours instead; spending time with the people you love, pursuing your dream life, exercising, or enjoying your favourite hobby, to name only a few.
I used to spend an average of 3 hours a day on my phone – yikes! Was that time fulfilling? Did it contribute towards my happiness, my health, my goals? No, never.
So, I set about finding ways to reduce my screen time, and here are some ideas that might help you, too.
5 Ways to use your phone less:
1. De-clutter and re-organise your phone
Get rid of any apps that you could really rather do without. Anything that saps time with little purpose or anything you no longer use, delete.
Then, organise the apps you’re left with so that only those which serve a good purpose (such as your calendar, a meditation app perhaps and so on) are visible when you unlock your screen.
Apps that sap time and you don’t want to spend so much time on make a little more hidden, so the temptation to look at them is reduced.
2. Set some phone-free zones
For example, you could make it a rule that you never take your phone into your living room or other places you spend large amounts of time. Instead, you could leave it by the kettle, so that you can use ‘dead’ time like waiting for the kettle to boil to check your messages.
Leaving it out of your bedroom is always a good thing – screen time before bed is proven to have a negative impact on sleep quality.
When you’re getting together with family or friends, why not have a basket by the front door. Everyone pops their phones in and you agree to spend time only with the people in the room.
3. Set limits for how long you spend on time-wasting apps
I’ve set ‘screen time’ limits for most of my apps, so that a message comes up after 15 minutes to tell me I’ve reached my limit for the day. If I want a little more time, it’s easy to continue, but it makes me more mindful.
On the iPhone, you can do this in your settings but there are apps that will help you to do this too.
4. Turn off notifications
Notifications not only clutter your mind with a constant stream of information; they tempt you to spend more time interacting with the app that generated them. Turn them off. I even have notifications turned off for Facebook Messenger and What’sApp – I can go check them when I’m good and ready. If there’s an emergency, people will call.
5. Set wallpapers that remind you
Visual reminders are great. I created these, which I swap around regularly. Feel free to download and use them, too >>
On your last day on Earth, it’s unlikely you’ll wish you had spent more time on your phone – that you’d played more games, scrolled more on Instagram, watched more funny videos…
You might, however, wished you’d put it down more to look up at the view, to talk to the people around you, to have more fun, to reach more goals. Let that be your motivator; and spend your time wisely.
Lastly… Phones are not all bad, but let’s use them to enhance our lives, instead of mindlessly wasting precious time. I love using mine to learn, listen to music, meditate, make notes and remind me to do important tasks 🙂
✩ Wishing you good luck in your endeavours to reduce phone time ✩